Stormy weather, rocky roads, and tumultuous waves are analogies we often use to describe hardships that have befallen ourselves or someone we know. In the last few months, several of my family and friends have been under attack financially, in their health, in their marriages, and more. The more I prayed for the situations I knew about with tears in my eyes, the more I felt that my prayers were empty, meaningless, and without depth. My prayers were along these lines (“*” indicates name changes):
“Lord please provide a generous financial blessing for *Dan.”
“I beg of you God for a cure for *Kate’s Lupus.”
“Jesus please bring *Ken out of the affair and back home to *Barbie & their kids.”
Looking back on the content of parts of my prayers were almost laughable to me. However sincere they were, I forgot how important it is to also REJOICE IN TROUBLE as I pray. I know that sounds twisted, but hear me out. If as a believer, you understand that trouble poses an opportunity to grow in faith and character, your prayers sincerest most heartfelt prayers will be laced with gratefulness.
Yes, *Dan is about to be evicted from his home. Yes he is at a major low-point financially, BUT while I am praying for him to be brought out of the peril, I should also be praying that God is using this to show him why becoming a better steward of his money is so important in the future. Instead of praying simply for some magical money to fall out of the sky and bless him, why not be praying for this rock-bottom moment to be a huge teacher to him with his future decisions. Even Tyler Perry was once homeless. It’s how you use the NEXT season to redeem you of your last. Matthew 11:28 — Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden.
Yes, *Kate is very physically sick. But while I’m praying for her to be cured, I should also be praying for her overall healing of mind, body, & spirit. Her having Lupus SUCKS BIG TIME, but had she not gotten sick, she may not have called on Jesus and been born again, shortly after being diagnosed. So now, even in her sickness, she is blessing and encouraging others in her shoes. Her strength amazes me. My prayers have shifted focus to simply not wanting her to be sick and in pain to wanting God’s will to be done, however He chooses to do it and just praying for her continued trust in God. Exodus 16:6 — You shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt.
Yes, *Ken is cheating on *Barbie and risking their 5-year marriage for some random woman he met in a strip club. But, instead of praying only that he come home… why not be praying for him to accept Christ and for his heart to be forever transformed. He can’t be the husband she needs him to be without complete and total submission to the will of God. Him coming back home as THE SAME MAN who left would be no better for *Barbie than if he stayed gone. My prayers have shifted to that direction now and also that *Barbie will understand that God’s grace is sufficient and if she leans on Him, He will supply all her needs. Psalm 96:10 — The Lord reigns; the world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved; He shall judge the people righteously.
In Him, there is unlimited access to healing and blessings. It is our duty as believers to pray without ceasing…the word says so. We must love one another enough to care to a point of prayer. So continue forward in this area, but be sure to tweak your approach to prayer where Holy Spirit leads. To God be the glory!
**WEDNESDAYS W/ INDIGO**